No Cloud Credit? No Problem. Fusion 360 Adds Unlimited Generative Design
Michael Alba posted on June 24, 2020 |
New Generative Design Extension offers unlimited use with subscription.
Using Fusion 360 Generative Design. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Using Fusion 360 Generative Design. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Do you use Fusion 360 Generative Design? Are you tired of paying $25 for every study and $100 for every export? Well, you’re in luck, because Autodesk has a solution: the new Generative Design Extension.

The Generative Design Extension

Last year, Autodesk introduced Fusion 360 extensions as a way to layer additional functionality onto the CAD platform. Since then, Fusion 360 has added extensions for manufacturing and management. Now, it adds generative design.

The Generative Design Extension doesn’t change what the technology does, just how it’s licensed. Previously, all Fusion 360 users could access generative design in a pay-per-use model. Running a generative design study cost 25 cloud credits ($25). Exporting a generatively designed model back into Fusion 360 cost an additional 100 cloud credits ($100).

Each Fusion 360 Generative Design study costs 25 cloud credits ($25).
Each Fusion 360 Generative Design study costs 25 cloud credits ($25).

This pay-per-use model is still available, but Fusion 360 users can now choose to purchase unlimited access to generative design with the Generative Design Extension. While other Fusion 360 extensions can be licensed for $125/month, the Generative Design extension is a tad steeper—$1000/month or $8000/year.

Is the price worth it? When we used generative design to redesign the Golden Gate Bridge, we ran at least twenty separate studies and exported three or four different models. It would have cost us somewhere between $500 – $1000 if Autodesk hadn’t provided us with unlimited access for the experiment. It was certainly nice not to have to worry about racking up costs each time we wanted to tweak our study.

The Golden Gate Bridge, re-imagined with Fusion 360 Generative Design.
The Golden Gate Bridge, re-imagined with Fusion 360 Generative Design.

If you’re using Fusion 360 Generative Design even somewhat regularly, the new unlimited extension is probably well worth it. In fact, through to July 17, it’s doubly worth it: Autodesk is offering a limited discount of 50 percent off annual subscriptions to both Fusion 360 and the Generative Design Extension.

“We hear loud and clear that customers, especially these days, crave flexibility, and we’re more than happy to provide a solution at a price point that addresses their needs, especially for budget managers who require predictability,” said Stephen Hooper, Autodesk’s general manager of Fusion 360. “Most of all, we’re excited to see the momentum and incredible outcomes from casual users all the way up to major industry innovators or major brand innovators who are using generative design in the field.”

A New Foundation of Cloud Data

In other Fusion 360 news, the cloud-adjacent CAD program appears to moving closer to the cloud. In a blog post today, Hooper introduced what he calls the Fusion 360 Product Information Model (PIM), “the foundation of cloud data for Fusion 360 moving forward.”

PIM will be based on Autodesk’s Forge cloud development platform. Though Hooper didn’t get into the details, he repeatedly emphasised that users will no longer have to click the archaic save button, and seemed to be suggesting that Fusion 360 will shift to a database architecture such as that found in cloud CAD competitor Onshape. If so, it’s about time. Hooper revealed that PIM is in active development, and he hopes to roll out the first wave of changes before the year is out.

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